Egoism (greed if you wish) can serve the common good under certain conditions - and not in others. The same holds true of malice.
Of course, the question arises as to what these conditions are. The Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin provided an answer:
Everyone carries within himself the germs of this lust for power, and every germ, as we know, because of a basic law of life, necessarily must develop and grow, if only it finds in its environment favourable conditions. These conditions in human society are the stupidity, ignorance, apathy, indifference, and servile habits of the masses - so one may say justly that it is the masses themselves that produce those exploiters, oppressors, despots, and executioners of humanity, of whom they are victims. When the masses are deeply sunk in their sleep, patiently resigned to their degradation and slavery, the best men in their midst, the most energetic and intelligent of them, those who in a different environment might render great services to humanity, necessarily become despots. Often they become such by entertaining the illusion that they are working for the good of those whom they oppress. On the contrary, in an intelligent, wide-awake society, jealously guarding its liberty and disposed to defend its rights, even the most egoistic and malevolent individuals become good members of society. Such is the power of society, a thousand times greater than that of the strongest individuals.
(Bakunin, Power and Authority)
#8060859, By EndlessSolitude our time is now.
EndlessSolitude 157 posts
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